The Sony FDR-AX1 Digital 4K Video Camera Recorder is the first consumer 4K video camera from Sony. They've used the technology developed for their professional video cameras to create a compact, easy-to-operate 4K consumer model that's designed to make 4K video and professional-quality audio available to the masses. The FDR-AX1's powerful image processor is identical to the high-performance processors found in Sony's professional video cameras. By incorporating an image processor that can handle 4K video at 60 fps into a consumer camcorder, everyone will be able to document important family moments, get creative with friends, record sporting events and capture the world around them in lifelike detail. The FDR-AX1's native 3840 x 2160 4K resolution enables you to create movies with four times as much detail and quadruple the image quality of a Full HD 1080p camcorder. Plus, this model features a back-illuminated 8.3MP Exmor R CMOS image sensor that works in concert with the processor so you can record at the maximum frame rate - even when shooting 4K video. This means that even your high-speed action shots and sports videos will be clear, sharp and detailed.
In order to provide 4K video recording in a consumer model, Sony designed the FDR-AX1 to support the XAVC-S 4K/HD recording format which is usually reserved for professional applications. However, since the XAVC-S codec will save as an MP4 wrapper, you can still create web-friendly videos that can be easily shared on social media sites like YouTube. Another highlight of the XAVC-S recording format is its ability to record images at 150 Mbps in 4K. In fact, it can record images at 50 Mbps even when you're shooting in Full HD 1920 x1080 resolution. The FDR-AX1 has also adopted a more professional-type of recording media thanks to the inclusion of dual next-generation XQD media card slots. Both XQD card slots support fast 4K/HD writing and reading rates. Plus, you can use the relay recording function to switch between XQD slots and lengthen your recording time. You'll also be able to quickly transfer footage via SuperSpeed USB 3.0 from your XQD cards to your PC by using an optional XQD reader/writer with a USB 3.0 connection.
Another feature that makes the FDR-AX1 a professional-class consumer video camera is its audio recording capability. It records 2-channel Linear PCM audio with a built-in high-performance stereo microphone. However, the camera also features dual integrated professional-class XLR audio inputs for connecting external microphones. You'll even be able to mix audio tracks from the internal microphone with the audio recorded from any connected external mics. There are a variety of shot-enhancing functions and manual control options as well. More experienced videographers will be able to take advantage of the independent zoom, focus and iris rings. Plus, the camera's viewfinder and LCD monitor employ Peaking, Zebra and Center Marker functionality for more advanced shot setup and autofocus options.
Other image-enhancing features include three ND filters and five unique Paint functions, which will help you achieve a more cinematic aesthetic with your movies. The FDR-AX1 has flexible connectivity options as well. Besides the XLR audio inputs, the camera is equipped with a headphone jack, an HDMI output that will transfer 4K footage to compatible 4K Bravia TVs, a USB 2.0 port for fast data transfers, an analog A/V output, an accessory shoe and more. With the flexible connectivity options, professional-class features, 4K recording capability and ease-of-use, the FDR-AX1 bridges the gap between consumer and professional-class. While experienced videographers will be able to really produce great video and audio with this model, even ambitious beginners will be able to master this camera and capture professional looking, cinematic 4K video with ultra-clear stereo audio.